Sony announced plans to adopt the standard ePub format for its Reader line, a format developed by Random House and HarperCollins.
In addition, Sony plans to drop anti-piracy software features developed by Adobe in favor of a more open attitude regarding the sharing of content.
Like cell phone carriers and the different handsets offered by each, not all ebook titles are available on readers.
Because of the different standards now in place, readers who might otherwise be exposed to new or existing titles don’t always have access.
Chief Sony rival Amazon for example, does not use the ePub format for its popular Kindle.
The move by Sony though brings them more in line with them and better-positioned to gain a larger share of the growing ebook sector, one which saw nearly $14 million in sales this past June.
While Sony and Amazon are the category's main players for now, the market will likely see the release of additional readers. One such unit set for next year is the Plastic Logic eReader.
As more devices hit the market and adopt unified standards, consumers should be the ones who benefit most.
Having only one or two publishers controlling the majority of content will only hurt hurt future growth, something that standards like ePub were designed to prevent.